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War between Israel and Hamas rages on as anger grows over Gaza crisis: Live updates

9:51 PM ET, November 11, 2023

The hostages’ families tell the Israeli government: “Send them back to their homeland now.”

By Tamar Michaelis

People carry posters during a demonstration demanding the release of Israeli hostages in Tel Aviv, Israel, on November 11.

Ahmed Al-Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

The families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government to make more efforts to return hostages and missing persons to their homeland.

A press release issued by the headquarters of the Forum for Families of Hostages and Missing Persons said: “We are waiting for the Israeli government to fulfill the basic contract that was violated. We have already paid the price on October 7, and now it is your turn.”

The families of the hostages organized a march on Saturday in Tel Aviv, Israel, in which former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also participated.

More than 200 hostages were taken in Gaza following the Hamas attack on October 7.

The families called on the international community and the Red Cross to ensure medical assistance for the hostages, “as they do with Hamas,” according to the press release.

“Our family members are imprisoned underground in Gaza. Bring them home now,” the statement said.

“239 innocent people fell asleep on the night of October 6, and in less than 24 hours we lost all contact with them, without any information. Where is the Red Cross, the organization that is supposed to take care of them?,” said Maayan Zein, the mother of the two girls, Dafna (15 years old). And Ella (8 years old), who were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nahal Oz in Israel with their father: “Why didn’t they demand to see the condition of the infants?”

People take part in a demonstration demanding the release of hostages in Tel Aviv on November 11.

Ilan Rosenberg – Reuters

Noam Peri, whose 79-year-old father, Haim Peri, was taken from his home on Kibbutz Nir Oz in Israel, said there can be healing only after all the hostages are released.

Living hostages can still be returned and we must not stop until they return home. My father is alive and only God knows how he endures in the tunnels when he is eighty years old. They are waiting for us to save them. “We are waiting for the prime minister to fulfill the basic contract he entered into with the citizens of Israel, which has been violated,” Perry said.

Rivlin said he joins the families in demanding the return of all hostages to their homeland, and urged world leaders to obtain information and take action in all arenas to free the hostages.

The former president said he also called the Red Cross this week and asked them: “How should we respond to your demand for humanitarian aid to Gaza when you do not force Hamas to allow you to visit all the hostages?”

“I’m done with the embrace and sympathy stage,” said Orly Gilboa, the mother of 19-year-old Daniela Gilboa, who was kidnapped from a party in Re’im, Israel. “I want to see actions that will bring my daughter and my wife home.” The rest of the hostages have now returned to their homes.”

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